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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: July 2020
Haibun: 134 words [R]
By Andrew Riutta

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan


You cast yourself out into a moment because that’s really all there is to do.

There are dragonflies everywhere skimming the pond and weeds taller than boys who pretend to be soldiers.

The sun had been up there a long time—maybe a thousand hours—along with all of its blackbirds and barn swallows.

But now a chilly haze brings with it into the early evening scents of mint and cedar. And smoke.

A yellow dog named after its antics bursts out of the shadows, wanting to chase or be chased.

You don’t know it yet, but one day you will fall down in front of a woman and beg to be born into all of this once more.

summer’s end—
I empty the bottle
of all its purpose


—Reproduced here with author’s permission from Senryu Circle (Facebook: 3 June 2020)

Andrew Riutta
Issue 4, July 2020

was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is a father, chef, zamboni operator, and writer. His essays, short fiction, and poetry have been published in journals and anthologies such as Beyond Forgetting (Kent State University Press, 2008), In the Arms of Words (Sherman Asher Publishing, 2005), Blood Lotus, Contemporary Haibun Online, Drifting Sands, Dunes Review, Eclectica, Failed Haiku, Frogpond, McQueen’s Quinterly, Modern Haiku, Red River Review and Smokebox among others.

He is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Cigarette Butts and Lilacs (Modern English Tanka Press, 2008), and a chapbook, The Pie in Pieces: Thirty-three Songs from the Midwest (River Man Publishing, 2006).

In 2011, his essay “The Myths of Manhood” was published in a collection of essays for National Public Radio, This I Believe: On Fatherhood (Jossey-Bass, John Wiley & Sons), and in 2012 was featured on Public Radio International’s Bob Edwards Show. Riutta received the 2008 William J. Shaw Memorial Prize for Poetry; and in 2007 he won Honorable Mention in the Michigan Liberal Arts poetry contest (for his poem “Recruitment”).

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